we took over the world
on January 24, 2012, President Barack Obama gave his third state of the union address.  once again, it was full of inspiring ideas toward fairness, domestic growth and the idea that America can retain (regain?) its status as the greatest nation on earth.

but how realistic and necessary are the pieces of legislation the president suggested and promised that he would immediately sign?

with a congress that has threatened complete government shutdown on more than one occasion over seemingly routine matters, is it possible that the changes for which the president pleaded can become reality?

more importantly, are Obama's substantive suggestions worthwhile and valuable?
the image on the left is of a woman who was exercising her right to free speech and peaceful assembly.

the woman was pepper sprayed and kicked by police while exercising her rights.

she was pregnant at the time of the assault by the police.

the image on the left is of a woman who, reports say, is the victim of a state-forced abortion.

this, and a variety of other horrific images that show what happens when americans exercise their rights, can be found at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer site.

perhaps you've found yourself at odds with the occupy movement for whatever reasons. 

however, if you consider yourself an american and regardless of your personal political beliefs, there are now far more reasons to support it.

people seem to be noticing that the united states congress is doing an exceptionally poor job these days.  most would cite the economy as the primary source of frustration, but is that only because we don't realize that our elected officials live above the law?

60 Minutes did a fantastic piece on how our elected officials benefit from insider trading without all the pesky repercussions suffered by average citizens like, say, martha stewart.

it's a positive sign that american citizens know they are dissatisfied with the job our elected officials are doing, but it's important we experience our frustration toward tangible, unjust reasons.

the fact that they don't live by the same laws is a perfect example of good reasons to be angry.

the occupy protests rage on contrary to the assumed hopes of america's 1% and those elected who now represent them.  agree or disagree with the movement if you like, but do so with the understanding that a cause crucial to you might one day need you and like-minded others to defended it with the power of the first amendment.

unfortunately, that power seems to exist solely on paper as militarized police forces have displayed on a regular basis.

this is not america:
but fortunately, it looks like we might be showing enough collective interest in the nation's goings on to take our country back.
largely before consumers even started feeling the admittedly slight, but nonetheless unnecessary and unjustified burden of debit card fees, all the big banks have decided they won't be charging them.

the reason why is crucially important when you consider that particular why in the greater context of american society.

the banks were going to take money out of our pocket, for vague reasons that are not the customers' problem, until we showed them we were not going to take it.

the occupy protests and tea party illustrate this mentality as well.

when the banks prove to us that we can only be taken advantage of when we the people allow it to happen, can we translate that into a better society overall and what do we need to do in order to make that happen?

all our problems started when we stopped being interested which will naturally lead to an excessive reaction when we finally decide to pay attention again.

but there is a better way.
the united states congress has achieved another dubious distinction with their approval reaching an all-time low of 9%, compared to 11% in september.

during a time protests are springing up all over the nation, under the mantra We Are The 99%, it's no mistake that as average american citizens are learning more about how much disdain and disinterest the government has for them, we're quickly approaching a scenario where only the wealthiest 1% approve of the actions of our elected officials.

Matt Taibbi, the most important journalist america has left, recently did a very compelling piece about the truth behind the Occupy intentions.

if he's right, and the 99% are not envious but just want an even playing field, how do we make that happen?
american citizens are involved in a real-life, modern revolution right now and it is teaching us difficult lessons about freedom and the relationship the people have with government.

boston authorities recently showed us that old ladies are a major threat to our way of life and that the first amendment just doesn't matter.

but oakland thought they could swing their tax-payer funded hammer of government even harder, and now the american people are staring down the barrel of a police-state future.

if this is what it looks like when we the people exercise our rights, what is the future going to look like for america?
our elected officials spent much of the spring and summer of 2011 talking about how creating jobs has to be priority #1 for the government.

in agreement on that point, the president proposed a job bill that would protect the jobs of teachers and first-responders, two groups of workers this country desperately needs if we're going to prosper.

that job bill was rejected and the counter-proposal appears to have little substance behind it that would actually tangibly and directly create jobs.

perhaps they are right and freezing tax rates and reducing federal spending somehow translates into jobs created.

either that is true, or fringe politics have become far more important to the issues of substance and the issues our elected officials claim are priority.

so, which is it?
often lost in the debate about marriage equality for homosexuals and other debates on discrepancy in citizen freedom is the fact that american women, regardless of race or sexual orientation, are still treated as second-rate citizens.

women still make less money working the same jobs as men, despite being nearly half the american workforce and gaining steadily.

and that's before you talk about the really scary problems american women still face.

now american women are having their healthcare rights threatened and this should be the springboard for them to become champions of themselves and all the demographic groups in america that don't enjoy the same treatment as straight, white, christian men.
anita perry, the wife of GOP presidential hopeful rick perry, recently complained that her husband has been brutalized by rivals because of his faith.

of course, american citizens should be allowed to practice their religion as they see fit.  the freedom of religion is allegedly  guaranteed (and upheld for white christians) by the first amendment.

but when does that freedom meet the reality of someone campaigning to hold the top job in the country? 

it starts when faith is seemingly the only substantial platform on which a presidential candidate wants to run and continues when there is evidence that the candidate's faith will drive policy decisions.